Why is 'First Episode Psychosis' on the rise across the world?

The mass deaths of 11 Bhatia family members at Burari in Delhi are being discussed in psychology departments of higher education institutes; by behavioural scientists; psychiatrists and among mental health professionals across the country except in the schools by the teacher groups and school management. In India, teaching has still not come up as a profession and continues to be a mere salaried job.

One may be surprised to know that in the present age of technology, due to the dependence on gadgets based on virtual reality, the cases of the First Episode Psychosis (EFP) have increased in which even small children mimic unreal characters being shown as superheroes. There exist estimates that in the US, about 30 per cent of people are reported to have experienced an episode of psychotic disorder at some point in their lives and more so the children.

However, those related to psychology and related disciplines, it is held that psychosis as a mental disorder is regarded as a break with reality and rationality, which is characterised as distortions in an individual's thoughts and perceptions leading to inability to recognise what is real and what is not. Often, the distortions are experienced as seeing, hearing and believing things which in reality do not exist.

On the other hand, psychiatrists and mental health professionals look at psychosis as a symptom, and not an illness to be treated through interventions. "The first-episode psychosis (FEP) is the stage in which signs of beginning to lose contact with reality start showing up. Early detection and the right treatment are most effective for cure of psychosis," said Dr Anita Shrivastava who provides counselling to caregivers in Jaipur.

According to her, two major experiences such as hallucinations – seeing, hearing or feeling things that aren't there – and, delusions – strong belief that external forces control thoughts, feelings and behaviours. She advises that parents and teachers have to be extra vigilant and pro-active regarding their adolescent period since they are at risk of experiencing an episode of psychosis because of hormonal changes in their brain during puberty as well as incidents that hurt their self-esteem.

Other experiences such as substance use; traumatic brain injuries; strokes; etc can sometimes cause psychosis. Also, mental health conditions like schizophrenia, schizoaffective disorder, bipolar disorder or depression can cause psychosis, said Shrivastava while urging that caregivers and other associated people must help kin experiencing psychosis to receive treatment.

Here is my non-poem on 'psychosis'.

We become psychotic

When we are brought up

Through belief thinking

When we are educated

Through parroting

When we are conditioned

Through illogical rituals

~*~

We become psychotic

When we lose contact with the Reality

When we forget our identity

When we fall slave to conditioned mind.

~*~

With turbulent mind

Fired with burning desires

We create and fall for

Ensnaring illusions

Overwhelming hallucinations

Devastating delusions

Menacing mirages

~*~

Psychosis is on the rise

With desires-driven life styles

We are getting entrapped

By deluded conditioned mind

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